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Post at: Jul 30 2021


On 25 May, 2021, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland notified to WHO (World Health Organisation) of one laboratory confirmed case of monkeypox.

  • Monkeypox is sylvatic zoonosis with incidental human infections that usually occur sporadically in forested parts of Central and West Africa.
  • It is caused by the monkeypox virus and belongs to the Orthopox virus family. 
  • However Smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, whereas human monkeypox is endemic in villages of central and West Africa.

Symptoms – Fever, Swollen lymph nodes, intense headache, Back pain, myalgia and intense asthenia.


  • Monkeypox can be transmitted by contact and droplet exposure via inhaled large droplets. As monkeypox is a viral zoonosis, hence this disease can be transmitted from animals to humans. 
  • It can also be transmitted through contact with the blood, bodily fluids. Thus, monkeypox is a contagious disease.


  • The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.
  • The animal reservoir remains unknown although is likely to be among rodents. 
  • Contact with live or dead animals through hunting and consumption of wild game or fresh meat are known risk factors.


  • As of now, there is no specific treatment or vaccine available for monkeypox infection. As per WHO advice, a patient with monkey pox virus should be isolated during the infectious period and contacts should be observed in quarantine.
  • Timely contact tracing, surveillance measures and raising awareness of imported emerging diseases among healthcare providers are essential parts of preventing secondary cases and effective management of monkeypox outbreaks.


While a vaccine was approved for monkeypox in 2019 and traditional smallpox vaccine provides cross protection for monkeypox, these vaccines are not widely available. Hence healthcare workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed monkeypox should implement standard, contact and droplet infection with controlled pre cautions.

Amit Gupta

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